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Not planning to arrest Lokesh, CID tells HC

By, Hyderabad
Sep 30, 2023 09:02 AM IST

The high court, which was hearing a petition of Lokesh seeking anticipatory bail in the case, dismissed the same, following the CID’s submission.

The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Andhra Pradesh police on Friday informed the state high court that it had no immediate plans to arrest Telugu Desam Party (TDP) general secretary Nara Lokesh in the Amaravati inner ring road case, but would question him after serving him a notice.

Nara Lokesh (HT Photo)
Nara Lokesh (HT Photo)

The high court, which was hearing a petition of Lokesh seeking anticipatory bail in the case, dismissed the same, following the CID’s submission.

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The Andhra Pradesh high court also deferred to October 4, separate petitions of Lokesh seeking anticipatory bail in two other cases – the state skill development corporation case and AP Fibernet case. The court also directed the police not to arrest the TDP leader until October 4.

Lokesh is currently camping in New Delhi to hold discussions with the legal experts to obtain relief for his father – TDP president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is in judicial remand at Rajahmundry Central jail since September 11 in connection with the multi-crore skill development corporation scam being probed by the state crime investigation department (CID).

Lokesh is planning to resume his “Yuva Galam” padayatra on Friday night from Podalada village of Razole block in Konaseema district, where he had stopped on September 9, following his father’s arrest from Nandyal.

However, TDP state president K Atchennaidu on Thursday announced that Lokesh had deferred his padayatra indefinitely, considering the pending disposal of Naidu’s petition in the Supreme Court seeking to quash the skill development case against him.

A senior TDP leader familiar with the development said Lokesh had dropped the plan to resume his padayatra, following reports that the CID might arrest him in the Amaravati inner ring road case, in which he was named as accused no. 14 (A-14), soon after he lands in Andhra Pradesh.

“Since he filed a petition in the high court seeking anticipatory bail in the inner ring road case, he thought it would be better to resume the padayatra if he gets the bail,” the TDP leader said.

On Friday, when his bail petition came up before the high court, advocate general (AG) Sriram Subrahmanyam told the court that the government had no plans to arrest Lokesh immediately, but would serve a notice to him under Section 41-A of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for questioning.

The A-G said the CID would consider arresting Lokesh only with the permission of the court, if he did not cooperate during the questioning.

The high court disposing Lokesh’s petition seeking anticipatory bail said since the CID does not want to arrest Lokesh but would only question him, there was no need to hear his petition. The court also asked Lokesh to cooperate with the investigating agency.

A team of the CID officials on Friday left for Delhi immediately to serve notices for questioning to Lokesh. “However, the CID officials could not locate the TDP general secretary in Delhi. They are on the lookout for him and are suspecting that he may be trying to avoid them,” a state government official privy to the development said.

TDP spokesperson N Vijay Kumar said the CID appears to have dropped Section 409 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) from the FIR lodged against Lokesh in the Amaravati Inner Ring Road case, as an afterthought, because he was not a minister when the proposal was mooted.

“If section 409 of IPC is invoked against Lokesh, the CID police can straightaway arrest Lokesh without serving notice to him under section 41-A of the CrPC. The fact that the CID has chosen to issue notice to him indicates that they have dropped section 409,” Kumar said.

Meanwhile, in a related development, the Andhra Pradesh high court also deferred to October 4, the petition of Chandrababu Naidu seeking anticipatory bail in the AP Fibernet case, in which Naidu was named as A-25.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Srinivasa Rao is Senior Assistant Editor based out of Hyderabad covering developments in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana . He has over three decades of reporting experience.

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